Putting Web analytics to the test

Knowing what features are available will help you make a wise buying decision

What do enterprises ask of Web analytics packages? Here's a list of requirements vendors most often see in RFPs (requests for proposals). These specs formed, in part, the testing checklist for this roundup and can help you decide what's most important in your solution.

User Interface
- Provides flexible calendaring and trending
- Matches calendar to fiscal calendar
- Delivers flexible dashboards for key performance indicators
- Exports to Microsoft Excel
- Distributes reports throughout the organization via e-mail on scheduled basis

Site Analysis
- Ties page traffic to conversion
- Allows users to group tens of thousands of pages into client-defined content categories
- Presents visitor fallout in a defined path
-Shows paths of specific segments or groups of users

Merchandising Analysis
- Groups products into client-defined merchandising hierarchy
- Analyzes cross-sold items within session and across session
- Tracks individual search terms used by visitors tied to conversion
- Segments users based on products browsed, abandoned, or sold and extracts e-mail addresses of segments for retention marketing purposes

Marketing Analysis
- Tracks marketing activity across various "attribution windows," for example, visitors who clicked through and converted 14 days later
- Differentiates between paid and natural search
- Automatically classifies links without Excel integration
- Evaluates lifetime revenue of visitors acquired from any link or campaign on the fly

- Works with marketing-campaign management vendors to enable automated tracking of marketing campaigns
- Collaborates with e-mail service providers to enable targeted e-mail campaigns on the basis of site behavior
- Operates with survey vendors to provide pathing analysis based on psychographic behaviors
- Partners with rich-media companies for tracking behavior in online catalogs integration
- Uploads marketing cost, impression, and open rate data from third-party sources
- Integrates product cost data for analysis of net sales and margin
- Merges offline purchase behaviors to deliver cross-channel analysis